In a stunning development Friday, Parliament voted to not only repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, but also legalise same-sex marriages. While many celebrated the enactment of the Marriage Equality Act, backlash quickly mounted as evidence of previous anti-gay legislation began to surface. When online sleuths found Members of Parliament’s (MPs’) earlier comments promoting marriage as being between one man and one woman in Hansard, local pro-equality commentators swiftly denounced Parliament and said they would never accept its legalisation of gay marriage. Their position was encapsulated by self-proclaimed gay ally and prolific Twitter user Wah Bui Kun as, “Many observers were shocked by Parliament’s actions. That is insufficient. We are shocked and outraged.”
Wah said Parliament was blatantly insincere in its binding action to extend the full umbrella of legal protections to all citizens regardless of sexuality. “Yeah, sure, now gay couples can adopt children, exercise spousal rights, and propose by asking their partner to BTO. So? MPs are clearly trying to boost their own fame and careers by riding on the publicity surrounding our movement. Hah! If they were truly sincere, they’d have done this the moment we got self-government in 1959, not now when Pink Dot is drawing crowds a hundred times larger than any PAP rally!”
Wah dismissed the idea that MPs had changed their minds and been convinced that they had a duty to uphold equality for all Singaporeans in all aspects of life. “Anyone who believes that has obviously been co-opted by the government. Look, back in 2007, PM Lee said that by family in Singapore we mean one man, one woman. Before last year, no gay couple had ever legally adopted a child. Heck, just last week, Parliament was saying its illegal for two men to have sex! And suddenly you believe it’s changed, just because it unanimously passed a bill giving gay people full rights as citizens? Wake up, sheeple! All that crap about how institutions can learn and improve over time is a load of Tosh.”
Those who share Wah’s beliefs plan to protest Parliament’s move. “Until they retract the Marriage Equality Act, we need to make clear to MPs that their bigotry is unacceptable,” said Rachel Chan, who started a petition against Parliament’s hypocrisy. “I urge gay couples not to validate and legitimise hate by claiming the rights they have fought so long for. Instead, gay couples should refuse to get married, or better yet, choose to marry members of the opposite sex. This will send Parliament a strong signal that we disagree with their past words and statements, and show solidarity with fellow victims of oppression. Until the Speaker posts a teary Instagram video apologising for his actions and retracting the Act, we refuse to be silenced.”
The targets of the protest expressed dismay at the reaction. “It’s very disturbing that activists are attempting to weaponise history in this way,” said Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam. “Of course, they are entitled to their interpretations, but to accuse Parliament of ever endorsing discrimination is a very serious charge without good basis in fact. This will undermine public trust in the government and poses a serious threat to our social fabric. I will of course consider any merit in their criticisms, but as a Minister, I have a duty to promote social harmony and will not hesitate to act in the national interest.”
At press time, sources reported that the petition and all other online mentions of government discrimination had been removed following a request under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act. In yet another twist, Rachel Chan was revealed to be the same one whose petition prevented Watain from playing in the country. The National Council of Churches of Singapore declined to comment.